• Rachel Hoops

Ikigai: A Reason for Being

As an individual who already lives life in a constant dream state, reality as of late has been harder to keep up with. I, like many others, am trying to simply re-adjust to this new world, trying to navigate a course of action to help feel secure in these uncertain times while also pursuing a life that is full of passion, purpose, and happiness. It is a lot easier said than done like countless other complications life throws our way. The importance is not in the problems or the battles we have to overcome but rather how we do it, our perspective when the situation arises, our eagerness to set up a plan, and our drive to get up and solve it. Life as we knew it is over, whether you want to accept it or not this world is changing. However, this is what we do as humans and other life forces on this planet: we are constantly evolving into better, stronger, and smarter beings. The world has slowed down for us to begin to think of an alternate way of living, to see it through and make it a perfectly imperfect master plan.


Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I finally was feeling like I was getting my life where it needed to be as I have major/recurrent depression, it is not easy to always be capable of handling my responsibilities of fully taking care of myself. However, I was working as a newborn photographer in a hospital for about four months, filling my days off with adventure and photoshoots of more families, properties, couples, and individuals. One of my adventures in the beginning of the year was going to Seattle, Washington. The pandemic actually had just begun being spread on the news the day after I arrived home. Shortly after, I had to stop photographing newborns at the hospital and I had a lot of cancellations for sessions. Then, my grandpa died. Things got really dark again for a while, my future was black.


I've decided to color it back in, it's a blank slate but even if my future is black, I still know what I would want it to look like if I am going to have one and I really want to have one. Recently, I came across something called "Ikigai"(pronounced Ick-ee-guy) meaning: the Japanese secret to a long and happy life; a reason for being. I was instantly intrigued and had to to find it for myself. It would mean so much to me if you would read through this and do the process for yourself, even if you have never considered being your own boss or breaking out of your comfort zone to live the life you've been dreaming about. Give yourself the space and time you need to take care of your subconscious' needs, then you will find you are living a rewarding and fulfilling life. Success lives on the other side of fear and greatness rarely comes easily, so don't be afraid to ask for the things you want, work towards your seemingly impossible goal because it won't be long until all your hard work pays off and that very goal which you believed in becomes your actual reality.

Want to find your Ikigai? Ask yourself the following four questions:

1. What do I love?

2. What am I good at?

3. What can I be paid for now — or something that could transform into my future hustle?

4. What does the world need?

Source:https://medium.com/thrive-global/ikigai-the-japanese-secret-to-a-long-and-happy-life-might-just-help-you-live-a-more-fulfilling-9871d01992b7


1. What do I love?

I love photography, especially of living things: people, animals, and plants but also food. I love being able to capture memories, once in a lifetime moments, intimate moments, the milestones, the joys that life has to offer. I love being of service, being a person others can trust, and sharing happiness. I love the outdoors: the visuals - sunrises + sunsets, flowers, trees, jaw dropping landscapes the sounds - running water, birds, plants blowing in the wind, the smells - crisp night air, lavender fields, fire. I love our physical life on Earth in many aspects and appreciate each stage of it for what it is: a beginning, middle, and end. I love the grey in all things black and white (picturesque, verbal, physical, mental, spiritual).


2. What am I good at?

I am good at being there for people, communicating ideas to make a vision come to life, and adapting to unexpected situations. I am good at baking, cooking, and experimenting with new foods. I am good at cleaning, decorating, organizing, systematic procedures. I am a good photographer and I am forever growing. I am good at creating plans for myself and others to excitedly follow. I am good at encouraging others to strive for excellence. I am a good and reliable friend. I am good at seeing different perspectives by being empathetic, caring, understanding, and open minded. I am good at learning and implementing new skills.


3. What can I be paid for now — or something that could transform into my future hustle?

Photography of people, pets, and nature will forever be my passion at it is something that I can be paid for now and continue to be paid for in the future. In the future, when I create the proper procedures for me to be successful, I can be paid to share my knowledge and my story. I can be paid to help others create their own business identity through branding, design, and identity of self work. I can be paid to create advertisements, business cards, websites, logos, brochures, and other professional documents.


4. What does the world need?

The world will now and always need love, trust, support, kindness, creativity, and individuality. This world needs people who are passionate about making a difference for ourselves, our older generations, our futures to sustain life here on Earth. The world needs people who care, who can make a difference or impact on the people around them to desire the same. The world needs to celebrate its victories, no matter how small, and recoup its losses, no matter how large. The world needs people to stand together and to fight for the common good and peace for all. The world needs unity and acceptance. The world needs ways to remember and document the past, whether to reminisce admiringly or to learn from our mistakes.


Writing out the answers to these questions is going to give myself and hopefully you as well a source to come back to, to remind ourselves of who we are in all moments of strength or weakness. Let this be your guide to leading a life of true subconscious fulfillment. We may even come back and add to it because we are never going to stop evolving, gowing, and learning. Choose love in all moments and never limit the amount of love you can give because love will always be at the root of everything if you look deep enough. This is a powerful brainstorm but I truly hope you take and conquer the challenge to analyze yourself.


If you enjoyed this post, a like or share would mean so much to me and could possibly land my website in the eyes of my next client. I would also absolutely love to read your answers if you would be interested in sharing! Please title your email "MY IKIGAI - (your first name)" and send to rachelashphoto@gmail.com


- with love

Rachel

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